WILDER, KY. - It’s difficult to say which is the greater Northern Kentucky institution—Bobby Mackey or his nightclub.
Mackey has owned his namesake nightspot in Wilder, Ky.—and performed there nearly every weekend—for 35 years. The club has taken on an allure of its own—rumors of ghosts have taken hold to such a degree that television programs have featured the club, which has become a magnet for ghost-hunting tourists.
Mackey doesn't believe his club is haunted, but he sees a scarier threat: The music that passes for country music today, he says, "it's not country." He sees his own music as both an homage and a protest.
After making his way largely through the country music standards of his forefathers—George Jones, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and his deepest influence, Hank Williams—Mackey has for the first time produced an album comprised entirely of his own music.
In this video, at the record-release show for “Country Music Lives On,” we'll hear Mackey's views on contemporary country music and why the songwriting bug bit him after three decades in the business.